Low Dose Naltrexone LDN for Symptoms of Histamine Overload
Very low dosages of the pharmaceutical drug naltrexone is being used for histamine intolerance and other inflammatory conditions with great success. It is more commonly recommended in full strength, as an opiate receptor stimulator/blocker for pain syndromes. Because it is a receptor agonist and antagonist, it has a unique characteristic of treating pain without the risk of narcotic overdose. It is also used for treating heroin and other opiate overdoses its receptor antagonist effect allows it to bind some of the opiate receptors sites and block the effects of opiates. As a overdose treatment, most states allow over the pharmacy counter sales for a single, low dose therapy.
Below is a excerpt from a research publication that describes the mechanism of action and treatment benefits of naltrexone.
The use of low-dose naltrexone (LDN) as a novel anti-inflammatory treatment for chronic pain
Jarred Younger, Luke Parkitny, and David McLain
"Naltrexone, given at low dosages (in the range of 3–5 mg), has been demonstrated to reduce symptom severity in a small number of chronic conditions, including fibromyalgia (1), Crohn's disease (2, 3), multiple sclerosis (4, 5), and pruritus associated with systemic sclerosis (6). The use of naltrexone at this dosage range is typically referred to as low‐dose naltrexone (7). As an orally available compound that is structurally similar to naloxone, naltrexone may work to reduce disease severity by attenuating inflammatory processes (8). This antiinflammatory effect is distinct from the better‐known effect of naltrexone in the blockade of neuronal opioid receptors and may instead involve the antagonism of immune cell receptors, including microglia in the central nervous system (9, 10).
Microglia are the resident macrophages of the central nervous system, and the primary form of immune defense in the brain and spinal cord. The cells normally exist in a resting (ramified) state but are activated by a range of triggers, including cell death, peripheral inflammation, and infection (11). Once activated, microglia undergo drastic morphologic changes and produce proinflammatory factors, such as cytokines, excitatory amino acids, and nitric oxide (12). These inflammatory factors can interact with neurons via multiple channels (13) to cause hyperalgesia, fatigue, and other symptoms (14). The behavioral symptoms of activated microglia (classically called sickness behaviors) are very similar to the primary complaints of fibromyalgia, suggesting that activated microglia may underlie the condition. Fibromyalgia may therefore represent a state of hypersensitive microglial activity and heightened inflammation in the central nervous system. Compounds such as naltrexone, which are known to suppress microglial activity, may therefore be helpful in treating fibromyalgia. By antagonizing microioglial activity (likely via action on Toll‐like receptor 4), naltrexone may suppress the release of proinflammatory factors and thereby reduce pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia."
Most functnal medicine practitioners are familiar with this LDN low dose naltrexone therapy and prescribe it via a compounding pharmacy. Cost ranges from $75-150 for a prescription. To save costs, some will take a single full strength Naloxone tablet of 50mg and dissolve in water and take 1/30th of this volume on a nightly basis. This is not recommended as stability and consistency are not predictable. It is advisable to contact your physician for a properly prepared prescription.